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Re: Ok, I'm sold!

On Tue, Oct 29, 2002 at 05:07:52PM -0500, Scott St. John wrote:
> Thanks to a friend very familiar with Debian I have my first Debian
> server up and running on a Dual Processor IBM Netfinity Server.  One
> word:  ROCKS!
> Just in playing around I see what I was hoping for with RH, speed,
> stability, performance!  NICE :)
> Moving user accounts over tonight and will start the tests for it to
> become a replacement email server.

btw, i strongly recommend switching from sendmail to postfix as part of
the upgrade.

postfix is mostly backwards-compatible with sendmail, but a lot faster
and a lot better at resource management...i've seen sendmail boxes crash
under less than 1/10th of the mail load that the exact same machine was
capable of handling after we switched to postfix.

a nice mail setup is:

MTA: postfix-tls (supports RFC2847 TLS encryption and SMTP AUTH)
MDA: courier-maildrop
POP & IMAP: courier-pop, courier-pop-ssl, courier-imap, courier-imap-ssl
WEBMAIL: courier's sqwebmail
ANTI-SPAM: amavis with spamassassin, and lots of entries in your postfix
           smtpd_*_restrictions access maps.
ANTI-VIRUS: amavis with clamav

all of these are, of course, packaged for debian.

as always, the most important factor for performance of a busy mail
server is the disks.   mail is an I/O-bound application, your CPUs will
be sitting idle most of the time waiting for data to/from the drives.

a large hardware RAID-5 array with non-volatile write caching is ideal
for mail.  also, reiserfs or XFS filesystems are a better choice than
ext2 (especially if you use Maildir/ which results in lots of little
files in a directory, which is a real performance killer under
traditional type *nix filesystems like ext2)

this issue is discussed regularly on the postfix-users mailing list.
check the archives for more info if you're interested.
http://www.postfix.org/ and follow the links to the list archives.


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
 -- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch

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